So, there you were, the light was perfect, the buck wandered right in your sights... you took the shot. What should have been the perfect kill, turned into a deer that ran off and disappeared. We've all been there. Then there are those days when no matter how good you are at tracking and following the signs, you come away with nothing more than a good day out with Mother Nature for your efforts. This is where having a tracking dog can make all the difference to the outcome of your hunting season.
Bloodhounds are naturally good at tracking animals, humans, and many other things, but even these amazing dogs have to be trained to do what you want them to do. On top of this, having a good tracking dog is also considered to be a more ethical way to hunt, as your chances of leaving a wounded animal behind are minimized.
The task you will be training your pup to do is to put that extremely sensitive nose to work. This is what Bloodhounds were bred for--all you have to do is enhance this skill and put it to work for you, tracking down the ones that get away. Be aware, however, that not all states allow the use of tracking dogs when hunting, be sure to check your state and local laws first.
There are several different methods you can use to train your pup's nose and hone his skills. The earlier you start training your pup to track deer, the better. While you can train an older dog to track, it is a lot harder and can take a much longer time. Also worth noting, you should be training your dog to track and find, not to attack. The last thing you want is for your pup to get hurt attacking a wounded animal, nor do you want him eating the meat you were planning to feed to your family.
The only real restriction is to wait until your pup's bones have fully formed to start training. Your vet can determine this for you. Your Bloodhound should also have mastered the four basic commands: 'sit', 'come', 'stay', and 'down'. You will also need a few training supplies to get things rolling, including:
The most important things you can bring with you to every training session are time and patience. Training your pup to track deer successfully isn't something that happens overnight. In fact, it can take months over the course of several hunting seasons for him to master this skill.
How to get her to calm down and be more focused
Hello Matt, For most dogs focus and self-control are skills that have to be practiced and improved overtime. Work on her obedience training in calmer environments at first. As she improves, then gradually work up to the environments that she is struggling with. The goal is to match Lucky's current ability in the focus and self-control areas with an environment and training exercises that she is able to do but that are still hard for her. You want her to be able to succeed but you want it to be challenging. As she improves, make the training harder as she becomes ready for it. The more you train the better a dog's capacity for learning and focused become. It takes repetition and easing into it. The more repetition you do in a challenging environment, sometimes the more boring that environment will become and the easier it will be for the dog to listen at that location. This is true of new places often, but if there are live animals present, then you will need to work on obedience at an easier location first and work up to the environment to see success likely. Live animals are hard distractions. At fourteen months, Lucky is also young still. Most dogs tends to calm down more around three years of age, and are much more mature around four years of age. You do not have to wait until then to start training of course! But there will be the need for additional training practice for Lucky to learn the kind of self-control and focus that comes easier for some of the older dogs that you may see practicing the same type of training. Although they might be harder to teach while Lucky is young, than if you were training an older dog that was calmer, teaching Lucky at this age increases the chances that she will avoid bad habits and increases her chances of maintaining her training solidly for the rest of her life once it's acquired. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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